How to Keep Your Eyes Healthy and Protect Your Vision
No matter what age you may be, taking good care of your eyes is essential. This is especially true for those who may have eye issues or are genetically predisposed to various eye-related conditions.
At LaserVue Eye Center, we are dedicated to the health and well-being of all of our Bay Area patients. Our ophthalmologists have dedicated their careers to the research and practice of early diagnosis and treatment of all vision conditions and eye diseases.
If you are interested in taking better care of your eyes, there’s no time like the present. There are plenty of things you can do to benefit your vision quality and boost your eye health!
Sunglasses Are a Must
One of the top ways to protect both your eyes and vision health is wearing sunglasses whenever it is appropriate. Sunglasses with polarized lenses and 100% UVA and UVB protection are essential to preventing damage to your eyes.
Without proper protection, overexposure to harmful light rays can lead to irreversible damage to your eyes and vision problems. So, the sooner you get in the habit of wearing them, the better.
Always Wear Safety Glasses
If you’re around potentially hazardous materials or handling tools and equipment that could cause an eye injury, safety glasses are a no-brainer. But what about when you’re at home – do you wear protective eyewear when mowing or weed waking? Do you remember your safety glasses every time you play basketball with your friends? Well, if you care about your eye health and enjoy your quality of vision you should.
It’s estimated that every year there are around 2.4 million injuries that result in vision damage or blindness, and nearly 90% of them are preventable with safety eyewear.
Be Responsible with Contacts
Roughly 45 million people wear corrective contact lenses in the U.S. While they are a safe and reliable alternative to prescription eyeglasses, contacts do need to be worn responsibly. Improperly caring for your contact lenses or wearing them incorrectly can lead to eye infections which can be incredibly damaging to your eyes and vision.
This is why it is always important to follow all your eye doctor’s instructions on how to wear and care for your contacts. If your lenses are not specifically designed to be slept in, make sure to always remove them before sleeping.
You should always wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes or contacts, you should always store your contact lenses in a sterile solution and any hygiene products that could be contaminated should be immediately disposed of.
Eating a Healthy Diet
Do carrots actually improve your vision? Yes! Carrots are full of Vitamin A, which is an essential nutrient our bodies need to help our eyes send light signals to our brain. Oftentimes when people have low-grade Vitamin A deficiencies they struggle to see clearly at night and in other low light environments. So making sure your diet includes a healthy amount of vitamin A can actually help improve your night vision!
Your eating habits can directly affect your ability to see, and in extreme cases, a poor diet can cause blindness due to nutrient deficiencies. To help maintain your eye and vision health it’s important to eat foods that are rich in essential nutrients such as:
- Zinc: Beef, shellfish, cashews, almonds
- Vitamin A: Carrots, sweet potato, tomatoes, goat cheese
- Vitamin C: Oranges, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli
- Vitamin E: Pumpkin, sunflower seeds, avocado
- Lutein: Kale, spinach, broccoli, egg yolks
- Omega-3: Salmon, flaxseed, walnuts
Quit Smoking Cigarettes
It’s no secret that smoking cigarettes can cause serious damage to your lungs, but this habit can also be extremely detrimental to your eyes and vision. Countless studies have linked cigarette smoking to vision loss due to optic nerve damage as well as other degenerative eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Give Your Eyes a Break
Whether you are casually reading, focusing on an important task, or working in front of a computer screen, our eyes are constantly working hard. By now most people are familiar with “Computer Eye Syndrome”, or digital eye strain, but screentime is not the only thing we need to keep in mind when it comes to the health of our eyes.
Focusing on anything for a long period of time without giving your eyes a break can cause anything from general irritation and dryness to headaches and dizzy spells. All of which are symptoms of eye strain.
One of the simplest ways you can avoid eye strain is to take frequent blinking breaks, doing deliberate blinks every hour. These are referred to as lid crunches. Blinking is essential in spreading the tear film and keeping the eyes properly lubricated. When on digital devices, our blink rate decreases from 20 blinks per minute to 5 blinks per minute.
To relax your focusing system, you can practice the 20-20-20 rule. Every 20 minutes you should give your eyes a break by looking at something 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This gives your eyes time to relax.
Get Eye Exams Regularly
One of the best ways to ensure the longevity of your eye and vision health is to receive regular eye exams. Not only will it help protect your vision but these exams will also allow your doctor to screen you for any possible eye conditions.
Unfortunately, it is very common for degenerative eye diseases to not present with any symptoms until they have already caused irreversible damage to your vision. This is why it is so important to spot them in the earliest stages of development when they are easiest to treat.
Schedule an Eye Exam with LaserVue Eye Center
Diagnosing and treating eye conditions as early as possible helps ensure no permanent damage or vision loss occurs. If you have experienced any recent changes in your eyesight, or have questions about how to best maintain your eye and vision health, the LaserVue Eye Center team is here to help.
Contact us online to schedule an eye exam today.